Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.
— Stephen Decatur, U.S. Navy captain, (1779-1820)
The United States may always be right, but sometimes people decide they want to watch what is happening here from another location.
That seems to be the case for an increasing number of people, especially retirees and Millennials, who have indicated they would become expatriates if given the opportunity.
While the government does not keep any official numbers on emigres, the Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO) estimated that in 2016, some 8.7 million Americans not working for the government were working around the world.
According to a study conducted by the University of Kent in England, one-third of American-born residents and emigrants to the U.S. said they would consider moving from the U.S. to live in another country. Based on 2015 data, the main reasons for becoming expatriates was due to retirement or to explore another national culture.
It is worth noting that the study was done before the election of Donald Trump in 2016, so these numbers could be higher.
According to Dr. Klekowski von Koppenfels, a major reason was that Americans who want to emigrate had a less than “very strong’ American national identity was an important factor. Others that played a role were knowing other Americans who had lived abroad or having served in the US military, both of which are networks our respondents might tap into.”
The number of people considering these moves is significantly greater for millennials (those aged 18 to 34). Over half of millennials (55%), said that they would move overseas.
Among the reasons cited:
• A better quality of life;
• Lower cost of living;
• To have new experiences;
• Job opportunities.
Just how many Americans are living abroad? According to International Living magazine, the U.S. Social Security Administration reports that nearly 614,000 Social Security checks were sent abroad in June 2014. This was over twice as many checks that were sent overseas in 2002, based on Social Security data. However, this number may be even higher since many retirees maintain their U.S.-based banking relationships and do not have their checks sent outside the U.S.
Now, to keep this in perspective, the number of people actually moving overseas from the U.S. represents just .001% of the total population. However, the news and the trend indicates that people are considering alternatives to attain a better quality of life and lower living expenses.
More Retirees Are Also Moving
While millennials garnered more attention from emigrant studies, retirees have considered moving outside the U.S. for years.
Retiring abroad has become so popular that it has emerged as its own standalone industry. Sites like Infolific and the others listed below all have their own lists of top retirement spots based on their own preferences and indexes.
However, online reviews of one of the most popular sites, International Living, cautioned against giving them your email address because you will be bombarded by solicitations, emails, special offers and will be unable to ever unsubscribe from their mailing list once you have entered their domain.
So with that caveat in mind, here are some recommendations for good places to retire to in the event you want to leave the USA.
A 2015 study by InterNations found that the most popular destinations for emigrants were:
6. New Zealand
However, another group, the World Population Review, has a different list of top places to retire. There top six nations are Portugal, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Malaysia, and Peru.
So, what is the main idea here?
Americans are a mobile group. Social Security checks cannot be mailed overseas, but they can be easily deposited into a U.S. bank account and accessed anywhere in the world.
So, if you want to retire and don’t like the retirement options available in the U.S. or its political direction, you have a whole globe of nations to choose from.